Personality Disorders

Personality translates into the way of thinking, feeling and acting and is what distinguishes a person from all others. There are several factors that can influence an individual’s personality, including experiences, environment and hereditary characteristics. When personality traits are inflexible, they damage social relationships, cause suffering and deviate from the expectations of the culture in which the individual is inserted, we can speak of personality disorders.45

There are several personality disorders, which can be grouped into three distinct groups, based on descriptive similarities. However, people often have personality disorders from different groups at the same time.46

The first group includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. People with these disorders are often described by others as being weird or eccentric. Another group includes antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders, in which individuals tend to appear dramatic, emotional, or erratic. The third group includes avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. These individuals tend to appear anxious or fearful.

It is during adolescence or early adulthood that the characteristics of a personality disorder become most evident. Some types of personality disorder, notably antisocial and borderline personality disorders, tend to become less evident or disappear with age. The same does not seem to be the case with other types, such as obsessive-compulsive and schizotypal personality disorders.